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Jane Allen to Offer Tips on Cell Phone Photography

Jane Lewis Allen can’t remember not having a camera. “My dad was an architect, so we always

had cameras at our house,” she said. Her first one growing up in Florence, S.C., was a box camera. “In those days it was very expensive to buy film, so I had to be very judicious about the pictures I took,” she said. “We didn’t have a lot of money to spend on that. It was only after I retired and started doing digital photography that I was able to experiment with lighting and post-processing. That really made it fun.”

With a degree in biology from Winthrop College, Allen worked as a medical lab technologist for 10 years before becoming a teacher in 1990 so she could spend summers and weekends with her children. She taught mostly physics but also science and math for three years at Belton-Honea Path High School and for 19 years at Hanna High School in Anderson.

These days, she does some professional photography of newborns and high school seniors and for events like birthdays and anniversaries. She shoots with a Canon 7D or a Canon 5D Mark III. Lifestyle photography is her specialty. “I catch people doing what they do in their everyday lives,” she said. “If a kid is playing in a sprinkler, I want that. If somebody’s playing tennis, I want that. If someone is reading a book in a big, fluffy chair, I want that.”

She occasionally enters competitions and has won several awards. Her photo of a butterfly on a flower received Top 24 recognition in a national competition. A shot of a Carolina wren sitting on her deck placed second at the state level. And her picture from the Pearl Fryar Topiary Garden in Bishopville, S.C., was chosen for publication.

A presentation she gave at her garden club about taking pictures with a cell phone led to her being asked to teach an upcoming course on that topic at Anderson University and to being invited to speak at the next meeting of the Anderson Artists Guild on Monday, Sept. 10, at 6:30 p.m. at the Anderson Arts Center. She will help people understand how to make better photos using their cell phones, looking at how to take advantage of technical tools and settings, how to take additional time, what to focus on, and how to edit after completing the shot.

“Most people have a cell phone with them,” she said. “The best camera to use in any situation is the one you have with you.”

For more information about Jane Allen, visit

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